#2385: HoverNet

A fraction of radio waves get transmitted around the globe not by bouncing off satellites but by line-of site transmission between a large number of microwave towers.

These are both costly to build and maintain as well as being so ugly they need to be disguised as synthetic trees.

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Light travels even faster through the air than through glass fibres and so it would be a good idea, when communicating around the world, somehow to lessen the number of towers…to zero.

Today’s invention is to replace the towers by UAVs carrying small receiver/transmitter dishes.

These have several advantages:

If some need to be switched out of the network eg for maintenance or due to wind damage, the grid they form can be engineered to self-organise in realtime to avoid dropping signal.

The UAVs are much cheaper and less environmentally intrusive than the ridiculous faux firs.

The units could be kept hovering almost perpetually by converting a fraction of the microwave energy they receive into propeller work.

Narrow beam-widths make it harder to intercept the signals and, in any event, the UAVs could constantly move through small amplitudes, randomly, in order to frustrate such attempts.

Although rain fade might be a problem, this could perhaps be lessened by locally increasing the numbers of UAVs when a downpour was predicted.